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PCB Congeners

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Learn more about PCBs

PCB Congeners

A PCB congener is any single, unique well-defined chemical compound in the PCB category. The name of a congener specifies the total number of chlorine substituents and the position of each chlorine. For example: 4,4'-Dichlorobiphenyl is a congener comprising the biphenyl structure with two chlorine substituents, one on each of the #4 carbons of the two rings. In 1980, a numbering system was developed which assigned a sequential number to each of the 209 PCB congeners. See the Table of PCB Congeners (PDF) (8 pp, 48K) for a list of all PCB congeners.


PCB Homologs

Homologs are subcategories of PCB congeners having equal numbers of chlorine substituents.  For example, the tetrachlorobiphenyls are all PCB congeners with exactly 4 chlorine substituents that may be in any arrangement. See the Table of PCB Homologs (PDF) (1 pg, 17K)for a list of all PCB homologs.


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